Bologna – Italy’s Gastronomic Capital

Bologna – Italy’s Gastronomic Capital
By Francesca Spizzirri

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When people think of Italy, there is one thing that comes to mind: FOOD. Italian food is undeniably the most popular in the world and Bologna is undoubtedly one of Italy’s gastronomic capitals. Though often overlooked by busy tourists, Bologna is a foodie’s paradise and offers an incredible array of Italian specialties sure to please any palate.

Lovingly referred to as “La Grassa” (The Fat Lady) for its remarkable culinary tradition, Bologna is the capitol of Emilia Romagna; a region famed for many of the Italian specialities introduced to tables around the world. Foods like Tagliatelle al Ragù (Bolognese sauce), Mortadella, Parmiggiano-Reggiano,

Prosciutto Crudo di Parma, Tortellini, Lasagna and Balsamic Vinegar are a few on its impressive resume. Local trattorie and osterie are perfect for sampling regional dishes and great local wines at affordable prices.

Tagliatelle al Rag Bologna

Outside the city are a series of rolling, olive-and vine-covered hills known as the Colli Bolognesi that produce many great red and white DOC wines. Try the Albana di Romagna DOCG that became Italy’s first DOCG white wine in 1987 and the Sangiovese di Romagna wine, too!

Be sure to sample the best balsamic vinegars in the world and discover how this condiment is made, and the delicious ways it can be used. Try some drizzled on gelato! Though Italian gelato was not invented here, Bologna based company Carpigiani invented the ice cream machine used in half the world to create gelato. And in case you didn’t know, solid chocolate was also invented here!

Nearly every corner of Bologna boasts incredible food, which begs the question, where to eat? Here are some restaurants that will provide an unforgettable gastronomic experience.

Enjoy authentic local dishes under the shade of the two leaning towers at Il Pappagallo. This Bolognese institution has been serving up great food for over a century to a list of famous patrons. Be sure to try their famed tortellini in brodo.

From the food, bread, wines, down to the artwork, Caminetto D’oro is a celebration of the beautiful bounty from Emilia Romagna. It’s a must for both locals and enlightened tourists.

You can’t visit Bologna without trying tagliatelle al ragù and All’ Osteria Bottega is the place to go. This small and intimate restaurant only seats 20, so if you’re lucky enough to get in, sit back and enjoy.

Located in the heart of Bologna is I Portici, a restaurant awarded the prestigious Michelin Star for serving up classical Bolognese dishes with a modern twist. Try their 5 course tasting-menu.

For over thirty years Trattoria Battibecco has been serving delicious Italian dishes. This sleek Michelin-starred restaurant may be renowned for its meat based creations but the fish is impeccable.

Buon Appetito!